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Nike: all your runs are belong to us

August 3rd, 2010

I like to run, and I like tech, so obviously I like to measure and graph my runs. So I use Nike+. Unfortunately, Nike+ has a rubbish pure-flash website (rant: do people still make pure-flash sites? This is 2010!).

I want a way to get to my run data without having to use Nike’s website, so I’ve decided to code something up. I’m learning Rails at the moment, so I’ve decided to do this as a Rails app. In this post, and probably some subsequent posts, I’ll be showing my progress.

Step 1: getting the data

First off, we need some way of getting the data from Nike. This post on labs.interfacedigital.co.uk shows how to get the raw run data through Nike’s public API. The two URLs we’ll be using are this one for getting a summary of all runs:


and this one for getting the details of a single run:


The all runs XML looks like this:

  <runList endIndex="-1" startIndex="0">
    <run id="1752070113" workoutType="standard">

Step 2: read the data

I’m doing the following in a Rails model called Run. The underlying table has fields for the necessary run attributes. I’m not going to go into this in detail because this isn’t a Rails tutorial.

require 'open-uri'
require 'rexml/document'


attributes = {
 #:attr         #xml tagname
  :distance   => "distance",
  :start_time => "startTime",
  :duration   => "duration",
  :calories   => "calories"

open(all_runs_url) do |f|  #open the XML file using the open-uri library
  doc = REXML::Document.new f.read  #create a new REXML object
  doc.elements.each("plusService/runList/run") do |run_info|  #iterate over 'run' elements
    run_id = run_info.attributes["id"]  #get the Nike id of the run
    run = find_or_initialize_by_run_id(run_id)  #get a new Run object, either from an existing record
                                                #in the database or create a new one

    attributes.each do |key, value|  #iterate through attributes hash, which maps object attrs to XML tags
      run.write_attribute(key, run_info.elements[value].text)

    run.calculate_avg_pace  #work out the average pace

calculate_avg_pace looks like this:

def calculate_avg_pace
  self.avg_pace = duration_in_minutes / distance_in_miles

and uses the following virtual attributes:

def duration_in_minutes
  duration / (60.0 * 1000)

def distance_in_miles
  distance * 0.62

At some point I’ll refactor so miles/km is an option, but for now I just want to get something working. So far though, so good:

First run listing

First run listing

Next steps will be to make the numbers look a bit nicer, for example by showing average pace in mm:ss. Other than that, who knows?


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